Skip to main content
  • E-mail
  • Save
  • Print

Turkey out of patience, warns Gul

  • Story Highlights
  • Turkey's president says country has lost patience with Kurdish rebels in Iraq
  • Delegation from Baghdad to urge Ankara against cross-border offensive
  • Talks due to begin in Ankara on Friday morning
  • Turkish military claims to have killed more than 30 "terrorists" along the border
  • Next Article in World »
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font

ANKARA, Turkey (CNN) -- Turkey's president on Thursday said his country's "patience has come to an end" over Kurdish rebels operating in Iraq, but a high-level Iraqi delegation started a mission in Ankara in an effort to keep Turkey from launching a full-scale cross-border offensive against the guerrillas.

President Abdullah Gul, in the opening speech of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization, attacked the Kurdistan Workers' Party use of Iraqi soil as a base to attack Turkey.

He made the comments amid reports of Turkish airstrikes and ground operations against PKK positions on both sides of the mountainous, rugged border region. One report, posted Thursday on the Turkish military Web site, said more than 30 "terrorists" preparing for an attack along the border late Tuesday were killed.

"Even though Turkey respects the sovereignty and unity of Iraq, her patience has come to an end and will not allow Iraqi soil to be used for terrorist activities," Gul said.

A high-level "security and political" delegation from Iraq began a visit to Ankara on Thursday afternoon with talks beginning Friday morning at 10 a.m. (0700 GMT).

The group includes Defense Minister Abdul Qadir Mohammed Jassim al-Ubaidi, a source in Iraq's Foreign Ministry and the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.

The delegation also includes one representative each from Iraq's two largest Kurdish movements, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Democratic Party, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.

"They will discuss with Turkish authorities issues regarding the PKK in Iraq, and measures that need to be taken by the Iraqi and Turkish sides. We hope the delegation will get answers from the Turkish side to settle this. I am very optimistic about the results," said Iraqi Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammed Hajj Hamoud.

The Iraqi government and Iraq's Kurdish Regional Government are against the prospect of a full-scale Turkish offensive in Iraq to take on the PKK, which has launched deadly attacks from Iraq against targets in Turkey.

The Turkish government -- which has restrained itself from undertaking such a move amid diplomatic pressure -- wants Iraq to handle the rebels inside their territory and has been saying it can't wait indefinitely for Iraq to do so.


The United States, which believes a full-scale offensive will make the unstable region even more volatile, is doing what it can to stop such an eventuality.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will address the matter in Ankara, where she will be next Thursday for bilateral meetings with Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. She then will travel to Istanbul for a "ministerial level international meeting on Iraq" that is to be held November 2-3. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

CNN's Hada Messia in Ankara and Jennifer Deaton in Baghdad contributed to this report.

All About Recep Tayyip ErdoganTurkey

  • E-mail
  • Save
  • Print